How Do Animals Navigate Using Earth’s Magnetic Field?

Kate Horowitz

We may be approaching the era of flying cars, but there are still some very basic forces that we just don’t understand. Magnets, for example (NSFW). Or, more specifically, how all kinds of organisms, from bacteria and butterflies to wild boars, tap into Earth’s magnetic field and exploit it for their own purposes. Many rely on magnetoreception to direct their epic migrations. Some use it to hunt. Others use it to avoid crashing into one another.

Exactly how a shrimp or fox can sense magnetic forces is still something of a mystery. Another mystery: Can we do it, too? That depends who you ask. Check out the video above from Science magazine to find out what we do know about the strange, invisible science of magnetoreception.

[h/t Science Magazine]

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